Report: A Home of Their Own

By: Daniel Lindsay and Fionnuala Earley  Published: June 2013


The prospect of owning a home is slipping away from young people across the country. Our new report looks at the average time it takes for First Time Buyers – couples, couples with children and single people – to save up the deposit on a home of their own.

Summary

Many young people in England aspire to buy their own house – to give them a home they can make their own, and to provide security for their futures.  However, the shortage of new affordable homes and rising house prices mean that increasingly the prospect of home ownership is slipping away from many young people.  Instead, they are often left either living back with their parents, or else spending years in the unstable private rented sector.

To assess the extent to which young people are excluded from home-ownership, Shelter commissioned Fionnuala Earley Consulting to produce data showing the relative lengths of time it takes first-time buyers to save a 20% deposit, after taking into account current and projected house prices, incomes, essential living costs (food, transport, utilities) and rent, by household type and across the country.  It provides some stark findings:

  • Couples who start a family in their twenties could be saving for a deposit for 12 years – nearly double the time faced by childless couples.
  • Couples without a child face an average of six and a half years of saving, and almost double that time in London (11 years). 
  • Single people face the greatest barriers to home ownership. A single person could need over 14 years to save enough for a deposit unless they can find a partner, trapping many in uncertain private renting or forcing them to live with their parents well into adulthood.

Using this research, Shelter has created an online calculator for people to find out how long it would take them or their children to save for a home of their own in their area, based on their individual circumstances.

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